Thursday, March 01, 2007

KTLK: Harrison out, "Mr. KTLK" in

Los Angeles' KTLK shakes up its lineup starting next week as the station hires Marc Germain, the talker formerly known in previous incarnations as Mr. KABC and Mr. KFI. As a result of this, Cary Harrison's brilliant local evening show "Harrison on the Edge" has been dropped.

In addition, a few other changes have been made, including the arrival of Bill Press and Alan Colmes, the departure of Lionel, The Young Turks and Mark Riley, and delayed broadcasts of Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow. While some media outlets, including LARadio.com claim that the station is shedding its Air America Radio branding, the station will still carry Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes live, in addition to Maddow. Furthermore, KTLK, like many of Air America's other affiliates, hasn't really relied heavily on the network's name for quite a while.

The new lineup will look like this:

Stephanie Miller 6-9AM live
Thom Hartmann 9-Noon live
Randi Rhodes Noon-3PM live
Marc "Mr K" Germain 3-7PM live
Ed Schultz 7-10PM
Rachel Maddow 10-Midnight
Alan Colmes Midnight - 3AM
Bill Press 3-6AM live


So far, no word on whether Germain, who in the past has used his station's call letters as his radio moniker, will adopt the 'Mr. KTLK' personna. As of now, he's just 'Mr. K', but that could change. He recently left his previous employer, KABC, when the station buckled under pressure from their corporate parent to clear more space for Mark Levin's ABC Radio-syndicated show. As a result, Mr. KABC would be banished to the post-midnight hours. Seeing as this would take valuable time away from his family, and feeling that this is a crummy way to treat a highly-rated local show, Germain decided to resign from the station and seek a new radio home. With the move to KTLK, he will be in the same building as his former station, co-owned KFI.

Germain, who describes himself as a moderate-to-liberal Democrat, takes a rather light approach toward his radio show, which consists heavily of random questions from callers. His motto is "no guests, no topics, no screeners," though he does occasionally welcome guests, mostly from the entertainment industry. This approach has helped Germain obtain very good ratings, often winning his time slot since he entered Los Angeles talk radio in the early 1990s at KFI.

As for Harrison, up until now the station's only locally-oriented weekday host (though Miller does her show from KTLK's studios), he and his crew were informed of the show's cancellation yesterday. No word on any future opportunities, but we here at LTR, being big fans of "Harrison on the Edge" will keep you posted on his whereabouts. It is likely that Clear Channel felt that it would be easier to preempt syndicated hosts such as Schultz with sports programming (KTLK is the flagship for the NHL's Los Angeles Kings) than it would be to bump a local show. According to AllAccess, Harrison is currently soliciting fill-in and fulltime gigs covering politics and pop culture.

The station's heavy weekend slate of local programming remains the same.

UPDATE 3/8: According to L.A. CityBeat, we may not have heard the last of Harrison. KTLK's program director may bring him back for weekends at some point. The article also points out a few complaints from listenters who want Harrison back, which is not surprising. Obvously, the wingnut bloggers are making serious hay and claiming that listeners are doing everything short of burning down the station. Most of the reaction I've seen has been positive, aside from Harrison's departure. They understand that Germain is a pretty big acquisition for the station, and seem cool with it.

2 comments:

raccoonradio said...

Meanwhile for those wondering what happened to Air America/Jones shows in Burlington VT, WTWK AM 1070 is now
Eve 1070, part of the female talk network launched by Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda. May be more lifestyle talk than political...

Tim said...

Support Harrison go to peaceteam.net and please sign the petition


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